How technology can improve your supplier relationships

Most restaurants struggle to have a single, unified, view of the products they order from their different vendors. This lack of visibility and transparency creates a fractured supply chain; one in which the restaurant operator and their suppliers do not operate in sync, resulting in inflated prices, bloated inventory, excessive waste, supply uncertainty, and often a less than ideal restaurant/supplier relationship.

The good news is, solutions exist! Never before has there been a better time to utilize technology to improve your product management and supplier relationships.

As a kitchen or FOH manager, imagine having a reliable product information management system, to handle everything from ordering to reconciliation, new product discovery, and centralization of all information for powerful reporting and analytics. Now, ask yourself, why aren’t you using this system yet?!

If you are looking to streamline your efforts, cutdown on errors, and save time in the otherwise labor intensive process of product and P&L management, then leveraging technology is the answer. Introducing you to Nix86, the perfect solution to improve the way you manage your supplier relationships. This BOH system enables streamlined ordering from  all of your suppliers, while enhancing your communication and relationships. Here is how it works:

  1. Upload Catalogs

Simply copy and paste your different supplier order guides into Nix86, and start ordering! You can even attach the vendor’s full product catalog so that you can search it at any time! Most importantly, be sure to add ALL your vendors – “mise en place” – so everything is in one place.

  1. Categorize Items

You know the products you order like the back of your hand. Your digital product management system should too! Customize any item to have the nickname you use in house, or to be assigned to any product category (ex. meat, produce, dairy) or storage location (ex. walk-in, freezer, bar). In a matter of minutes you will have digitized your order guides and kissed your clipboard goodbye!  

  1. “Quick Receive”

Let’s be honest, not every delivery is perfect. Before going digital, what you said on your voicemail order might have been misunderstood and too much or too little product gets dropped off. Other times the product you intended to order isn’t available and a substitution is given without your approval. We aren’t here to point fingers, we are here to make life better. Thanks to the Nix86 ‘Quick Receive’ tool, you can improve your vendors’ communication, by immediately notifying them if there are any mistakes in a delivery. Our favorite part, you can do it with a simple snap of a picture!

  1. Action Reports

Real time reporting brings you a digital accounts payable journal, a cost of goods purchased ledger, and price history trends of your ordered items. Easily manage your business, forecast future ordering costs and help your bookkeeper with transparent, accurate reporting.

Ready to get started?

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How to increase your business through food sustainability

The 2016 Food Sustainability Index ranked the United States last among Western countries in food sustainability. Researchers continue to show the U.S. lagging in additional categories, such as nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and food waste.

But what does food sustainability mean exactly and why is it so important?

Food sustainability is defined as “a system which nurtures the people, the animals, the land, the community and the environment”. Nowadays, this topic is extremely important because producing unsustainable food corresponds to tremendous environmental impacts, from air pollution to over-consumption of fossil fuels and fresh water supplies.

There is no denying that Americans love to eat. In fact, the average American consumes nearly one ton of food per year! Needless to say, appetites that large have a tremendous environmental impact, but many Americans are ready to make a change. For example, participating in driving a more sustainable food chain with Meatless Mondays.

With increasing pressure coming from consumers to eat more sustainably, you as the distributor now too are pressured to focus on this issue. The question is, what can you do to implement a  concrete strategy that drive sustainability?

Here are our tips to successfully create a more sustainable supply chain.

  1. Dream Big, but Start Small

Making a long term impact is all about pacing yourself, and recognizing you cannot change everything overnight. Start with small milestones, easy-to-realize, and then slowly grow your program; adding new efforts as the others become a staple. For example, you could promote and run specials on sustainable items once a month and then move to weekly promotions as you see what is working best. Having a digital product information management system like Nix86 in place to help track performance and promote these products is a great foundation.

  1. Tell your story

Once you have set a goal for yourself regarding your sustainability program/efforts, be sure to share your story with your key customers and stakeholders. By raising awareness of your mission, you won’t only educate people on the subject, but you will also bring people together in a united front. We find that some of the best ways to spread the word are by hosting events, using social media, and demoing your organic/sustainable product offerings for your customers.

  1. Make your food accessible

In your decision to drive a more sustainable supply chain, the last step is to actually make sure these products are readily and easily available to all of your customers. Simply put, the goal now is to better connect your clients to your offerings. Providing your customers with additional information about the product, such as what local farm it came from, or the eco-friendly efforts put into growing and producing these products tells a great story and makes people feel more connected and emotionally invested. With Nix86, we make it easier for you to give your customers a 360 view of all your products. Full catalog search and the ability to promote sustainable products is only a click of a button away!

At the end of the day, the sustainable food movement starts with you. Help restaurants to reduce their footprint, by promoting and supporting their local food system.

Nix86: Because the product you serve matters!

 

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HOW WEATHER AFFECTS FOOD COSTS

HOW WEATHER AFFECTS FOOD COSTS

“Weather” or not you realize it, what’s going on outside your window matters.

There are many different factors that can influence food & beverage prices, such as the cost of gas, labor costs or water shortages, etc. Without a doubt, one of the largest factors, is the weather!

The agricultural industry is extremely sensitive to in changes in climate and extreme weather conditions. Unexpected rainfall or unseasonably cold temperatures influence the quantity and quality of food produced. Weather patterns can lead to a less desirable harvest, corresponds to declining rates of yield growth, and increase costs to maintain healthy crops.  While a little extra rain, or a later than normal frost may not sound like a big deal, it can actually de-root produce crops or create excess moisture on plant leaves allowing for mildew to grow.

The bright side is that climate change won’t only challenge regional food production but also serve as a way to stimulate its growth. While modern technology and techniques can help farmers and vendors to promptly respond to these changes, and adapt, reducing their vulnerability and adapt maintaining a high-level production, not every farmer has the equipment necessary to counter-interact that change. This will shift regional advantages all around the world, and make some forms of local production more competitive. By diversifying farming, there will be an increase our resilience to adapt to what climate change brings.

However, let’s face it: high and volatile food prices are not likely to decline. With the agriculture having to continuously adapt to a dramatically changing climate, prices might actually increase up to 1% next year. And when there is a rise in retail food cost in normally means that farm and wholesale prices will rise as well.

With Nix86 you will be able to better communicate and offer substitutions to your customers in time of need. Your customers may not be paying attention to the weather, but if you are, you can deepen your relationship and let them know about season trends with product price fluctuation or how an unusual weather pattern might impact their food costs.

Nix 86: Because the product you serve matters !

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HOW WEATHER IMPACTS YOUR MENU

 

It is easy to understand how weather affects our mood which, as a result, influences how and what our guests eat. In fact, the change in weather has demonstrated to bring different eating habits.

Changes in weather affect the place or ambiance where your customers want to dine. If you have a patio during the warmer months, expect a boost in outdoor diners.

But weather also affects the type of food guests are craving. While during the cooler months guests prefer warm, comfort food, with the approach of Summer they tend to switch to healthy, energizing options.

And while many restaurants offer both indoor and outdoor facilities, they sometime seem struggling in adapting their menus to the weather changes.

So we realized how weather can actually represent a huge business opportunity for a restaurant when it has the flexibility to adapt to changing eating habits.

Here are our food tips to help you develop new summer menu ideas and support a more accurate inventory planning.

  1. Focus on Vegetables

As our moms used to tell us, we should eat our veggies. This summer season, that means purple vegetables!  For a new, different menu add choose between vibrantly-hued purple cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and asparagus.  Even the most vegetable averse will sit down and eat their vegetables now.

  1. Build on the ‘Avocado Momentum’

The exotic fruit from the Lauracee tree is now full part of the new trending culinary habits, especially avocado toasts. It has become a fundamental part of every brunch in the weekend, being considered as millennial-favorite food.

  1. Add Prosecco to your Wine List

The Italian sparkling wine is one of the latest trend in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry. It actually overtook Champagne to become the most popular choice of bubbles around the world.

  1. Gluten Free desserts

Gluten free food has becoming more and more an emerging food theme. In fact, it not only represents a healthier option but it is had become extremely fashionable, especially among instagrammers. So take advance of this market trend and put in on your menu!

Now imagine if you can easily adapt your orders to what diners crave the most in that season? It would help you to build on the momentum and boost your sales, providing, at the same time, a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Introducing you to Nix86, the app and online platform to help you communicate with your vendors faster, and update your menu with new, trending meal options. With full access to your suppliers’ catalog, you can now easily place orders from your phone and quickly respond and adapt to your customers heating habits.

Nix86 will provide you the right tools to increase your productivity and efficiency, allowing you to have a more customer-centric approach, driving your profits and boosting your success.

Nix 86: because the products you serve matters!

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3 TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR RESTAURANT MANAGERS

 

From the moment you walk in the door, running a restaurant is nonstop! Most of the time it seems almost impossible not to be pulled in a million different directions. As a FOH or BOH manager juggling everything from staff to service related issues leaves little time to actually focus on driving a better business. Let’s be honest, at best the shift is “organized chaos”.

Fear not, we have been there before and picked up some great best practices to help reduce the stress in your life and get a better handle on the way you manage the shift.

Below is our “secret recipe” to improve your efforts to save time without shortcutting quality, through 3 simple steps.

  • PRIORITIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST

As much as we all wish it were the case, it’s unlikely you have super human powers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your “powers” for good! Just know yourself and be realistic: you cannot accomplish everything in just one day, or all at the same time. So, we suggest you create to-do list, and then take a moment to think: If you had to stop working after completing just one task what would you choose? Day-by-day use this method to select the top three to-do activities and then stick to them. In this way, you will actually be able to manage your time and get things done.

  • LEARN HOW TO DELEGATE

A lot of are guilty of think the three best people for the job are: me, myself, and I. The reality is, you are not alone, so don’t try to accomplish everything on your own! Learning how to delegate will lead to better time management and improve your organization. At the same time, it will help you to have a better environment for your team since empowering them will encourage your employees and build morale, being seen as capable of greater success. This process not only will develop your team members’ skills but also stimulate creativity and initiative, fundamental elements for a successful growth of your restaurants.

  • IMPROVE YOUR VENDORS COMMUNICATION

We get it, you’re busy! The last thing you need is someone, anyone, but worst of all one of your vendors stopping by unannounced, and in the middle of your busy shift! You have a job to do, but the flip side of that coin is that they do too. So why not setup a scenario that is win-win? Let’s take for example those everyday orders that you need to place. Ask yourself how much time you end up spending compiling orders for vendors, or even worse waiting for their voicemail to pick up? Introducing Nix86, the ultimate App and Online Platform which saves you time by communicating with your vendors and placing multiple orders with a single click. With 24/7 access to all your product information from all your suppliers, you can order whenever, wherever and however you want, with up a 50% reduction in time waste. How cool is this?

Now you are ready.

Start to use our secret recipe and efficiently improve your time management, so you can finally focus on your restaurants.

Nix86: because the product you serve matters!

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3 TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR SALES REPS

 

We’ve all heard the expression before, “time is money”. This seems to be particularly true from a sales rep’s point of view. There are only so many “workable” hours in a day, and when it comes to F&B distribution, those hours are few and far between. So why is it that reps fall victim to the time intensive and administrative tasks that eats away at their days? Shouldn’t they instead seize the moments that matter the most, and focus on high value touches and providing additional service to their customers to strengthening those relationships?

If you are a sales rep and you are reading this, ask yourself: are you ready to stop logging orders voicemail after voicemail, or keep from chasing customers who are notoriously late on payments and/or placing their orders after their cutoff times? There is a better way! Today’s technology is powerful, simple to use, and readily available to you. So, start letting technology help you get better organized, save time, and earn more money.

Here are our three tips to substantially improve your time management skills and boost your sales, all via technology.

  1. IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION

How much time do you spend talking to your customers simply about what they want to order versus how to grow their business? With technological advancements such as mobile ordering, you can now improve your communication style, avoid mistakes, and take out the manual task of transcribing orders. For example, with a more standardized communication style you can receive direct emails with your familiar product descriptions, simplifying the data flow between the two parties. It will enhance your accuracy, saving you time to spend on building your business and identifying new opportunities within your existing customers.

  1. DEVELOP AN EASIER WAY TO RECEIVE ORDERS

How manual is your order entry process? Often transcribing an order, manually entering it, and double checking to ensure it was received correctly. By moving your ordering to online or mobile, customers will place orders the way you want to receive them. Product ID numbers and accurate descriptions could be on every order placed to reduce errors and time spent clarifying ordered items. And because your customers are now online anyway, both parties could receive the same confirmation email so that both parties are on the same page.

  1. AUTOMATE WHEN POSSIBLE

You might not like tech changes in the industry or process but let’s face it: they can simplify your life as a sales representative. Automating your procedure will correspond to not becoming bogged down in completing manual processes. For example, with an automated system, you can have orders placed integrate directly with your ERP system, saving a lot of valuable time. But this won’t only correspond to improved time management, but also to an increase in productivity and functionality.

It all sounds great, right? Allow us to introduce you to Nix86, an online and mobile ordering platform allowing you to standardize communication with your customers and enhance your relationships.  Nix86 will increase your productivity and efficiency, leveraging your sales efforts to focus on building the business as opposed to functioning as an “order taker”. With the new ‘Quick Receive’ feature, the platform further strengthens communication, providing more effective time management, and helping resolve product related issues faster than ever. Receive your orders easily, drive your profits and boost your sales success.

Nix 86: making life easier for you and your customers!

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